Huntley vet clinic takes in nearly 30 cats after woman can no longer care for them

HUNTLEY – The Pet Vet Animal Clinic in Huntley is purring a little louder this week.

A lot louder, actually.

On Monday, Pet Vet brought in 22 cats that belonged to an elderly Union woman who was no longer able to take care of them because of her deteriorating health. The cats range in age from under a year to 22 years old, and most are in average to poor health, according to Cindy Gaffney, president of Animal Services and Assistance Programs.

Gaffney, who helped connect the cats’ owner with Pet Vet, said the cats will be given health exams and are available for adoption or short-term foster. Gaffney also expects to find at least five more cats in the house.

“[The owner’s] health conditions prevented her from properly taking care of the cats,” Gaffney said. “She was overwhelmed. She was by herself and with her health issues, it became a health issue for the cats.”

Most of the cats are in need of some type of medical care ranging from blood work to a cat that may have a broken jaw, Gaffney said. But most appear to have a kind temperament and are relaxing at the veterinary clinic, Gaffney said. ASAP is covering the costs of the cats’ veterinary bills and boarding fees and is supplying all the food and litter.

The cats’ owner, Kim Dalleska, 61, said it was bittersweet to have to say goodbye to the cats, but she knew this would be the best decision for her feline friends.

“I’m really sad about it. I’m going to miss them,” said Dalleska, who has been hospitalized with pneumonia and blood clots. “[Gaffney] offered to take care of them, and I was really happy about that. I know it’s the best for them.”

Dalleska said her kitten collection began when she took in a few strays more than 20 years ago.

“They were my babies,” she said. They’re all close to me in their own special way.”

Pet Vet practice manager Karen Larsen said the cats are resting in the back of the animal hospital, and she’s been enjoying the extra purring around the clinic.

“It’s kind of a rewarding sound,” Larsen said. “It means they feel comfortable in here. They are going to get a good home.”

Those interested in adopting or fostering the cats, or making a donation to Animal Services and Assistance Programs, can call ASAP at 815-568-2921 or visit its Facebook page at facebook.com/asapusa. There is no adoption fee.

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